I plan to highlight graffiti culture in Philadelphia by creating a video series of oral-history interviews with active graffiti artists and experts on the history of graffiti.

My intention is to inform viewers about Philly’s rich history with the art form through interviews with Mutt (owner of Mutt Airbrush Supply, and possibly other experts), and prolific, active graffiti artists in Philly.

This project will seek to be informative and entertaining. I want these videos to give an inside look on the lives of graffiti artists, their experiences, perspectives, motives, and more. My goal is to simply give a fun and informative look inside the Philadelphia graffiti scene.


I hope that this project will offer interesting information to people who are curious about graffiti in Philadelphia. I hope that my videos will show graffiti culture in a positive way and have an influence on people who are unfamiliar with the culture and practice of graffiti. I hope these videos can answer questions people may wonder about, like “how’d they get up there?”, “how’d they not get caught?”, and “why do they do that?”.

Maybe more importantly, I hope to depict the artists in an accurate, fair and positive way that will be received well by the graffiti community and the participants themselves. I hope that these videos can act as a good documentation of the history of graffiti in Philly up to this point, and the current climate of the Philly graffiti scene (or at least these artists). I also hope that this video series could possibly change the perspective of somebody who negatively perceives graffiti or inform someone who just doesn’t understand the art form.


The worst case scenario for my project is to negatively or wrongly portray the Philadelphia graffiti community and participating artists. This could happen in many ways: failing to recognize an important aspect of graffiti culture, asking questions where I’m looking for a certain answer, editing unfairly, etc. I will make every effort possible to fairly and accurately depict everyone in my videos in respect for the community.

Another worst case scenario is to fail to protect the artists’ identities. To avoid this I have learned audio and video editing techniques that can protect identities, and will make sure to have permission from the artists after they’ve seen the video before posting.

The best case scenario for my project is to create an entertaining and informative documentation of Philly’s history with graffiti and current prolific artists that is celebrated by the graffiti community, and people who are interested in it.


Personal identities will inform the design of these videos, largely in that most participants want to remain anonymous, so I’ll have to make sure that I don’t reveal their identity in an incriminating way. At the same time however, personal identities will also be important to consider (for interviewing) and highlight since graffiti is an act of self expression.

In creating these videos, I will try my best to act as a facilitator rather than a director, as described in Design Justice’s principle #5. The first artist I reached out to was OSHIN, and agreed under the terms that I’d work with him to create the video in a way that accurately depicts his style and outlook on the artform. I think this is especially important for my project, since most of the videos I’m making will be profiles on individual artists.


Where I was born and raised, graffiti isn’t really present at all. I’m assuming that most graffiti artists come from backgrounds where the art form is abundant, so my life experiences will likely be a lot different and maybe a lot more privileged than the artists that I’ll be interviewing. My understanding of this artform is a new one, and I haven’t been fully immersed in or a member of the culture at all. Recognizing this, I will not try to relate to participants’ experiences when I can’t, and approach the entire project in an ultra respectful manner, knowing that I’m not a member of the community and likely ignorant to many things within the community.

Since I’m only doing a few videos for this project, there will obviously be a limited amount of diversity among the participants. Since they are anonymous, I also don’t know the identities of the participating artists (in terms of race, sexuality, where they’re from, etc). 


Based on my research, graffiti is traditionally male dominated, but has had an increasing female presence. While the majority of the participants will be male, I’m grateful to have a female participant who is a super prolific artist (SKUE). I’m hoping that she can offer information about her experiences in graffiti, female graffiti artists in Philadelphia, her inspirations and more. I hope that by having at least one female participant, my project will be more inclusive to people of all genders.

I also plan on creating closed captioning for those who are deaf or hard of hearing in an effort to be more inclusive in the design of my project. Youtube can generate captions for a video, but sometimes they’re super inaccurate. To ensure they’re accurate, I will manually type the transcripts of my interviews for closed captioning.

I will also be sure that I have a high contrast appearance in as much of my videos as I can so that its more easily legible, particularly when text is shown.